designing logical world creation system

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sideranautae
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designing logical world creation system

Postby sideranautae » Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:11 pm

Has anyone design their own system? The ones presented in the rules have cause/effects factors bass ackwards in many ways. Even the "alternative" aren't really logical.
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Matt Wilson
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Re: designing logical world creation system

Postby Matt Wilson » Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:08 pm

Oh yes. Yes indeed. I found a python app on COTI for generating worlds and subsectors, and I constantly tinker with it to try different results.

Anything in particular that you can't wait to change? I don't want to totally brain dump my various mods on you.
sideranautae
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Re: designing logical world creation system

Postby sideranautae » Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:25 pm

Matt Wilson wrote:Oh yes. Yes indeed. I found a python app on COTI for generating worlds and subsectors, and I constantly tinker with it to try different results.

Anything in particular that you can't wait to change? I don't want to totally brain dump my various mods on you.

Just the major stuff; demographic & TL driven Star Port determination. Elimination of impossible TL/world combo's. That kinda stuff
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Matt Wilson
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Re: designing logical world creation system

Postby Matt Wilson » Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:13 pm

For starports, I use a mod suggested by Constantine Thomas (I think I edited his version a tiny bit):

pop 1-3:
1-4: D
5-6: E

pop 4-5:
1-2: B
3-5: C
6: D

Pop 6+
1-2: A
3-5: B
6: C

For a class A starport I require a min TL of A. For class B a min TL of 9.

I don't like the way the rules currently make it really hard for a garden world to have a high TL, as if it would just be full of rustic folk on their farms. In my setting it's assumed that a lower pop garden world is an undeveloped colony, and a high pop garden world is developed and would have higher tech. So my TL roll is modified by pop size and starport only. Inhospitable worlds have min TL requirements, so I just round them up to that minimum (listed on p. 179 CRB) if necessary.

I also limit pop size on worlds that don't have atm 4-9, so that if there's a garden world next to a rockball, you know which one will have the bigger settlement -- unless there's an unusual circumstance.

I dunno if any of that will be of use to you. I'm tailoring things to fit the assumptions of the setting I want to create, not really as a universal model.
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Re: designing logical world creation system

Postby sideranautae » Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:17 pm

Matt Wilson wrote:For starports, I use a mod suggested by Constantine Thomas (I think I edited his version a tiny bit):

pop 1-3:
1-4: D
5-6: E

pop 4-5:
1-2: B
3-5: C
6: D

Pop 6+
1-2: A
3-5: B
6: C

For a class A starport I require a min TL of A. For class B a min TL of 9.
What's the min TL to have a Star port?
Matt Wilson wrote:I don't like the way the rules currently make it really hard for a garden world to have a high TL, as if it would just be full of rustic folk on their farms. In my setting it's assumed that a lower pop garden world is an undeveloped colony, and a high pop garden world is developed and would have higher tech. So my TL roll is modified by pop size and starport only. Inhospitable worlds have min TL requirements, so I just round them up to that minimum (listed on p. 179 CRB) if necessary.

I also limit pop size on worlds that don't have atm 4-9, so that if there's a garden world next to a rockball, you know which one will have the bigger settlement -- unless there's an unusual circumstance.

I dunno if any of that will be of use to you. I'm tailoring things to fit the assumptions of the setting I want to create, not really as a universal model.
Sounds much better than the default system. I haven't coded in years and years. I could handle pseudo code if you got it.
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Re: designing logical world creation system

Postby Jeraa » Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:11 pm

What's the min TL to have a Star port?
TL 0. Class E starports are nothing more than a cleared patch of bedrock, which can be done at any tech level. Though a landing beacon is mentioned, which would require electricity. So TL 4 at least.

High Guard allows the building of TL 7 ships. The TL 7 Antique Shuttle (also High Guard) is the US space shuttle. The core rulebook, in the description of tech levels, says TL 6 is the dawn of the space age. So class D and C starports should be available starting at least at TL 6, or TL 7 at the latest.
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Re: designing logical world creation system

Postby sideranautae » Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:14 pm

Jeraa wrote:
What's the min TL to have a Star port?
TL 0.
I was asking for Matt's rules not MGT's. I'm all too familiar with the RAW which is why I'm redesigning the rules. ;)

But, as an FYI, a place like Patrick AFB can't handle random arriving space craft. We really don't have any space ports on Earth. Well, no more than Orville & Wilbur's strip and work shack area was an Airport...
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Re: designing logical world creation system

Postby phavoc » Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:41 pm

No rule set is going to work because there are always exceptions. Remember that some starports are merely way stations along the way. There are numerous examples of Class A/B starports on low tech world.

I have always seen the world-building rules (pick up DGP World Builders handbook if you can find a copy, it's excellent) as just guidelines. It helps to get some of the work out of they way. But then that's where the ref's job comes in to tweak the settings of your subsector to where it a) makes more sense, b) makes sense for your campaign, and c) you like what you have.
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Re: designing logical world creation system

Postby sideranautae » Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:57 pm

phavoc wrote:No rule set is going to work because there are always exceptions.
The GM can create exceptions as needed with his own explanations. I just don't want the system creating bizarre occurrences that then require the GM to come up with pretzel logic explanations for or, change altogether. That is the major flaw that people have been complaining about with Traveller for a LONG time.

Have you been tracking the Herculean effect over at Traveller Map? The situation I mention is finally having to be confronted.
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Jeraa
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Re: designing logical world creation system

Postby Jeraa » Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:01 pm

But, as an FYI, a place like Patrick AFB can't handle random arriving space craft. We really don't have any space ports on Earth. Well, no more than Orville & Wilbur's strip and work shack area was an Airport...
While that is correct, its only because there is no need for one on Earth. However, we aren't part of a vast interstellar alliance with ships regularly coming and going, like a world similar to modern day Earth would be in the Traveller setting. If our Earth were part of such an alliance, such capabilities would of been included in the bases design.

But the space shuttles needed somewhere to land, receive maintenance, and launch from. That sounds like a spaceport to me. As far as I know, they weren't built there, so that would make it a Class D spaceport at best.
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Re: designing logical world creation system

Postby sideranautae » Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:07 pm

Jeraa wrote:
But, as an FYI, a place like Patrick AFB can't handle random arriving space craft. We really don't have any space ports on Earth. Well, no more than Orville & Wilbur's strip and work shack area was an Airport...
While that is correct,

Yes. That was my point. I was just correcting your above statement. And yes, we have a space port like Orvill & Wilbur had an "airport"... Go observe operation at an airport or shipping port. THEN go behind the scenes at NASA and you'll see why I'm drawing a stark distinction.

Also, if we created one without outside aid, it would be minimal as there would be no repair facilities (we don't know anything about TL 9+ ships). It would be unrefined fuel only as we wouldn't have the hook ups to connect to an L-hyd connector on a starship, etc., etc. So, it would be created by an off world entity in order to be of much use.
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Matt Wilson
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Re: designing logical world creation system

Postby Matt Wilson » Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:57 am

For starport class A I require min TL 10, and for class B TL 9, because they require a planetary tech infrastructure to support the construction of starships and spacecraft, respectively.

Class C or lower I have no min TL, because I assume such cases that the tech available at the starport is not indicative of -- nor dependent on -- the TL of the world itself. A class-C starport on a TL 4 world will probably run into some maintenance challenges for their hydrogen cracking equipment, but I think that's a little different. "Sorry, only got one purifier running right now, and that jayhawk took all we had in storage. Feel free to hang out in the quonset hut and read some magazines."
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Re: designing logical world creation system

Postby rocketranger0990 » Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:13 pm

"Unrealistic" planetary profiles often suggest unusual conditions, if you look for them. This leads to scenario hooks. For example, a low tech garden world with an A class starport. Perhaps economic conditions in the subsector(s) dictate a profitable location for an interstellar class starport as part of an off-planet corporation. However the rulers of the planet have a strict policy prohibiting advanced technology on the world. So the interstellar tech is limited to the starport reservation. Perhaps the place is a popular tourist destination. Maybe there is no starship construction facility but the starport has everything else. This is somewhat like Darkover or some works by L. Sprague deCamp.
Last edited by rocketranger0990 on Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: designing logical world creation system

Postby phavoc » Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:15 pm

There's a couple of inter-related issues here.

First is world creation. Making sure the stats of the world make sense. A TL-3 planet in the midst of a subsector full of TL-12 planets would have to be explained away. There are also the stats of the world.

Second is the starport / TL classification mix. The rule for starports has that they have always been independent of the local planet. On lower tech worlds the local economy could only provide unskilled labor, raw materials and food stuffs. Everything else would either have to be brought in or manufactured locally (at the starport). It's not impossible to do so, but would it make sense to do that? In some instances yes it would, because the starport itself occupies an important role in the local shipping routes. In others, not so much. Keep in mind that "THE" starport listed on a planet's UPP is considered the primary port, and also Imperial property, for that planet and/or system. You could easily have a class A starport on a TL-7 world as the primary port, and then have multiple C, D & E ports spread around the globe. But the game has always focused on the primary port for a system.

Third I have always seen the game mechanics as more or less modeled around transportation and warfare models of the early 21st century (communication wise would be set before the advent of radio and telegraph). With the shipping lanes you have what are essentially the coaling stations of the far-future, except they are called starports. Sometimes it appears that class A starports are too numerous on routes that don't seem to logically support shipyards and ancillary industries, even when taking into account local conditions like closeness to potential enemy systems. Ships passing through a system would stop off at a station to refuel, or perhaps drop off or pickup waiting cargo (trans-loading would become useful for some routes as the station would become a centralized warehouse for hub-spoke type shipping). A busier station could easily grow if the economy was robust enough. But we really don't see the rules set up to handle these sorts of things. And just because you have a busy starport, that doesn't mean you'll have a shipyard there.

The last question is going to be about shipyards. At what point does it make sense to have one? Should they only be located on planets that are technologically capable of building the appropriate infrastructure and industry to support them? If we were to look at shipyards here on our planet you'd find them located where cheap labor is available. At least for civilian ones. Many commercial ships (tankers, container ships) are built in Asia. The most advanced ships are usually built in Europe, especially the specialized ones that are essentially one-offs. And military vessels are a class unto themselves.

But all this is real-world issues that are trying to be shoe-horned into a game. So what level of realism do you want to imbue your universe with in order to make the gaming experience more enjoyable? That's a question any group of players and their referee face. I like having an established framework from which I can bolt on additional things that meet my own standards. But I do realize it's not possible to have a universal gaming system that fills in every need AND is still easy to use AND fun to play.
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Re: designing logical world creation system

Postby sideranautae » Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:48 pm

phavoc wrote:There's a couple of inter-related issues here.

First is world creation. Making sure the stats of the world make sense. A TL-3 planet in the midst of a subsector full of TL-12 planets would have to be explained away.
Right. I already took care of that with my system.



phavoc wrote:Second is the starport / TL classification mix. The rule for starports has that they have always been independent of the local planet.
Right. That is a 3I rule. My system isn't 3I


phavoc wrote:Third I have always seen the game mechanics as more or less modeled around transportation and warfare models of the early 21st century (communication wise would be set before the advent of radio and telegraph). With the shipping lanes you have what are essentially the coaling stations of the far-future, except they are called starports.


Exactly. This is why gen rules that make any real sense have to use a "2nd pass" method that takes the "neighborhood" into consideration.
phavoc wrote:The last question is going to be about shipyards. At what point does it make sense to have one? Should they only be located on planets that are technologically capable of building the appropriate infrastructure and industry to support them? If we were to look at shipyards here on our planet you'd find them located where cheap labor is available. At least for civilian ones. Many commercial ships (tankers, container ships) are built in Asia.


Significant shipyards on Earth ONLY are in areas that have the requisite TL and industrial base at hand. Having the industrial base and experts an hour away (with instant communications is entirely different than having them weeks away for all contact). So, there won't be shipyards beyond the TL of the world. Only exception is if the mil sets up a world for such a dedicated purpose (and thus that world is now a different TL).

phavoc wrote:But all this is real-world issues that are trying to be shoe-horned into a game. So what level of realism do you want to imbue your universe with in order to make the gaming experience more enjoyable?


Just something that is logical and internally consistent. Not that difficult to obtain and something Traveller has never bothered to try to do in this area.

One of the really strange areas of Trav system is how it treats pre-TL 6 planets when determining Gov type. Any organic human civilization at say TL 2-4 (will have many millions of people by then). Isn't going to be anything but balkanized (maybe 1 out of 1,000 will be something else).
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Re: designing logical world creation system

Postby Matt Wilson » Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:19 pm

sideranautae wrote:One of the really strange areas of Trav system is how it treats pre-TL 6 planets when determining Gov type. Any organic human civilization at say TL 2-4 (will have many millions of people by then). Isn't going to be anything but balkanized (maybe 1 out of 1,000 will be something else).
Not to mention that by the rules you can't have a religious dictatorship without at least 10 million people.
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Re: designing logical world creation system

Postby sideranautae » Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:36 pm

Matt Wilson wrote:
sideranautae wrote:One of the really strange areas of Trav system is how it treats pre-TL 6 planets when determining Gov type. Any organic human civilization at say TL 2-4 (will have many millions of people by then). Isn't going to be anything but balkanized (maybe 1 out of 1,000 will be something else).
Not to mention that by the rules you can't have a religious dictatorship without at least 10 million people.
Forgot about that. Really strange considering that the games founder had a degree in Sociology or something similar. :lol:
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Re: designing logical world creation system

Postby CosmicGamer » Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:13 pm

Matt Wilson wrote:I don't like the way the rules currently make it really hard for a garden world to have a high TL
I think I can see why you say this.

Lets start with as far as the rules go, the TL could be 0 or 14 and it has no effect at all on if a world receives a garden trade code.

Now to look at the influence attributes that determine if a world does get the garden trade code.

A garden world has
Size 5+
Atmo 4-9
Hydro 4-8

None of that provides a positive or negative DM to the tech level roll.

An asteroid is more likely to be high tech
Exotic atmospheres are more likely to be high tech
Desert and water worlds are more likely to be high tech

So glass half full or glass half empty?
is it that "it really hard for a garden world to have a high TL"
or
is it easier/more necessary for a world that is less habitable to have high tech

One of many possible ways of looking at it:

A garden worlds primary exports are Live Animals, Luxury Consumables, Spices, and Wood. One could think of a world like this almost as a nature preserve. People come live here because they prefer natural beauty over high tech conveniences. Or maybe it is just a matter of commerce. With little effort this type of world has the resources that other systems lack. They don't need, and it may be detrimental to their primary business to have the mines, manufacturing and factories needed to support a high tech world. Cut down the forests and destroy the animals habitats?
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Re: designing logical world creation system

Postby sideranautae » Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:23 pm

CosmicGamer wrote: A garden world has
Size 5+
Atmo 4-9
Hydro 4-8

None of that provides a positive or negative DM to the tech level roll.
Which isn't well thought out and is illogical. It is easier to create the base needed for high tech when the environment is easy to live it. One, MAJOR less place to sink effort into while trying to move forward. Should give pluses to TL. Otherwise it is more likely that Antarctica is more likely to be a high tech area than North America...
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Re: designing logical world creation system

Postby GypsyComet » Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:58 pm

"Logical" implies following from basic assumptions to an appropriate conclusion. Change the assumptions and the conclusion changes as well.

The RAW for Port and TL make more sense in the framework of a large trading empire with frequent traffic and mutually organized defense. The Ag world doesn't need native high tech to survive and prosper, and if it wants specific things it orders them from a nearby world that does make them. It isn't going to waste decades of time and effort developing stuff it can just buy on a three week turn around.

Where the Traveller assumptions do not work is in settings (or parts of a setting) that do not assume regular trade and mutual defense. If each world needs to stand on its own with no outside help AND is aware that outsiders will take advantage of a world that has fallen behind, then the TL DMs chart does not cover that. Each world will want its own B-port (at least) and will be developing TL as fast as possible.

If no one cares about possible conquerors, and is only making use of their own world or system without any outside help, the trends in world development change to match. You'll tend towards more B and C ports (which the game already does) but there will still be more TL push than the rules model.

Identify your assumptions, recognize the ramifications, and adjust accordingly.
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